Visit to Belarus’ National Olympic Committee

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During the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro Belarusian athletes should perform at a level adequate to the invested resources. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he visited the National Olympic Committee of Belarus on 22 September.

The head of state said that during the latest world championships performance of Belarusian athletes was abysmal in rowing, track and field athletics and swimming. He said he had expected a lot of medals instead of the totally weak effort.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that the forthcoming Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will be a serious test for every athlete and coach and for the entire sport industry.

“The sport industry now gets everything it needs. Every ruble we spend is hard-earned. This is why the Belarusian people have the right to expect adequate performance,” stressed Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The head of state noted he would like the athletes to win at least as many medals as they did during previous major sport events. “You can do it. Put your back into it. We will root for all of you. This is why go and get your medals!” said the Belarusian leader.

“Otherwise, what kind of competition do you call it if you lose before you fight?” Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that a number of events would be held at the presidential level to discuss sport industry problems.

“Your job is to do well during the Olympics. If you need anything, say it in advance. We have built a lot of sport facilities and they should be put to good use,” said the head of state.

Addressing athletes, Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that their victories are the pride of the Belarusian people. “They say that Belarus is a young, athletic and vigorously developing nation. This pertains to not only the image of the state, but also to its future,” the President said.

The head of state remarked that Belarusian sports achievements make the country famous in the world and expand international cooperation. “Today they say that sport is beyond politics. Sport is the biggest politics,” the President stressed.

He said that certain great athletes complain about the excessive public pressure in mass media. The head of state urged athletes to respond adequately to it. “Pressure has always been imposed on any athletes. You are great, you compete with the equals,” Aleksandr Lukashenko underlined.

“If you face criticism in mass media after reaching these heights, be patient and cope with the pressure. They impose pressure on you not because you are bad but because your victories are much more than just politics,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President noted that Belarus is associated with the name of Darya Domracheva in the world. Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the athletes of this level are linked to politics, and the high-level dialogue starts with this issue. He stressed that Belarus has always allocated money for the development of sport; therefore, Belarusian athletes must show good results. “You should get used to criticism. They won’t be any results without criticism, alternatives and pressure,” the President concluded.

Belarusian sport has a high authority in the global Olympic movement, Belarus President, the head of state believes. According to him, this is why a decision was made that the Belarusian National Olympic Committee should have headquarters in accordance with its status. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the building is fitted with cutting-edge equipment and can host top-level events.

“But we have built the NOC headquarters not only for guests. This is your home, and its doors should be always open for all athletes and not only athletes,” the head of state stressed. In his opinion, the complex can also host events for children. In these cases, they will come there for free. “As for federations, they should not pay a lot to fund a place for their events anywhere in the city. These events can be held here for a symbolic price,” the Belarusian leader added. The head of state noted with satisfaction that a healthy lifestyle and regular sports activities attract more and more people today.